Last week proved to be a great week for the underdogs during the Galway Races in Ballybrit and last night at Eamonn Deacy Park it proved no different with the priced travelling underdogs, Derry City, capitalising on a depleted Galway United squad, which included three of their under-19 players.
From the get go the Galway back four had their backs against the wall and never really looked stable and had no player willing to step up to Stephen Walsh and Paul Sinnot’s role in commanding the line and keeping things organised.
Peter Hutton’s men lined up in a 3-5-2 formation with Mark Timlin leading the line. The 20-year-old is making a name for himself of late having made it into the EA Sports FIFA Ultimate Team – Team of the Week due to his performances in recent weeks.
The first chance of the match landed at the feet of Patrick McElney, who fired a low shot directly at Ger Hanley. Galway’s Jason Molloy created their only decent half chance in the first half when he bombarded down the left wing, sending in a cross only to see it just evade Gary Shanahan who was trying to make up ground. From then on it was all Derry, with Patrick McEleney pulling the strings in midfield.
However, to the dismay of Hutton, and to the joy of the home supporters, he was forced to retire early on in the first half due to what seemed to be a back injury. Dundalk loanee Ciarán O’Connor came on to replace the Derry Playmaker.
Young O’Connor almost immediately caused problems as he collected a careless pass from David O’Leary, passing it off to Timlin who crossed a lovely ball into City right back Stephen Dooley, only for him to see his shot blocked in time by Colm Horgan. Half time couldn’t come soon enough for Tommy Dunne and his exhausted looking squad.
The second half was to be no different, with Derry City playing with more menace, you could sense the leak in the Galway sink was to turn into a flow of goals.
It was the substitute O’Connor who was to strike first in the 51st minute. From a badly taken O’Leary free-kick young Timlin capitalise playing a lovely ball to O’Connor who relentlessly buried it into the roof of the net.
The Candystripes had only to wait nine minutes for the second chance to hit the Galway net when a lapse in concentration led to O’Leary gifting the ball to Dean Jarvis, and with the Derry midfielder carrying the ball into the box, he was rather foolishly brought down by young Galway right back Cormac Rafferty.
There were questions being asked to if the foul did indeed take place inside the box but referee Anthony Buttimer was having none of it. Up stepped the Derry Messi, Timlin, to send Hanley the wrong way and widen the gap to two.
Galway United had only one chance of note in the second half and that was immediately from the kick off from the Derry penalty, when Jason Molloy spotted Ger Doherty off his line and he tried an audacious lob from 30 yards, only to see it fly over the Derry goal.
Derry, in the space of 13 minutes, were to score three goals with no reply. Once more, O’Connor was instrumental as he capitalised again from wild passing in the Galway midfield to send Timlin through for his second of the game and Derry’s third.
Derry’s Barry McNamee nearly made if four, but due to some good pressure from young Galway defender Killian Cantwell he could only manage to find the side netting of the Galway goal.
If the game was not already over, it was in the 88th minute when young Cantwell gifted the ball away in his own half to Stephen Dooley, with the winger cooly curling the ball into the top corner of Hanley’s goal. The three points were sealed and the Derry supporters were sure to enjoy their travel home after watching a great showcase of attacking football by their team in the west.
Plenty of positives for Hutton to take from the game and none more so than the performances of youngsters Timlin and O’Connor who showed great attacking prowess and were able to split the Galway defence with one-touch passing and through balls. City will host the league-leaders next Friday in the Brandywell.
Galway United have now lost three in a row in the league, conceding eight goals in the process and are now lingering just above Sligo Rovers in that dreaded relegation play-off zone in 10th position. Dunne will hope to end the current losing streak when Galway travel to Dalymount Park next Friday evening.
Galway United: (GK) Ger Hanley (DEF) Cormac Rafferty, Kilian Cantwell, Sam Oji, Colm Horgan (MID) Gary Shannahan, David O’Leary (Paul Sinnot 82’), Alex Byrne (Aran McConnell 90’), Jason Molloy (STK) Jake Keegan, Stephen Walsh
Unused Subs: Kevin Horgan (GK) Enda Curran, Conor Melody, Conor Barry
Derry City: (GK) Ger Doherty (DEF) Stephen Dooley, Rob Cornwall, Ryan McBride (MID) Aaron Barry, Dean Jarvis (Mark Quigley 84’), Connor McCormack, Philip Lowry, Barry McNamee (ATM) Patrick McEleney (Ciarán O’Connor 20’) (Ryan Curran 72’) (STK) Mark Timlin
Unused Subs: Shaun Patton (GK) Ronan Curtis, Aaron McEneff, Seamus Sharkey
Man Of The Match: Mark Timlin
P.J Ó Cualáin, Pundit Arena